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Canon Announces New EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM II Lens

Along with the new Canon EOS M5 announcement, Canon also announced a new version of the popular 70-300mm IS lens. This new Mark II version of the lens fixes a few of the complaints that I had about the old lens, namely the Autofocus performance and lack of internal focus design. In fact, when I compared the Canon 70-300mm IS with the Tamron 70-300mm VC lens, my recommendation was for the Tamron because of the Autofocus performance and lack of internal focus (as well as the lower price and included lens hood).

I am very excited about this lens. It is a little larger than the original 70-300mm IS, taking a 67mm filter rather than the standard 58mm. This does not bother me as I see it as a perfect companion to the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM and EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lenses on the APS-C bodies such as the Rebels, 60/70/80D or the 7D bodies. In fact, when I wrote about this lens rumor I mentioned that I hoped for the 67mm filter size. One thing I noticed is that it does not have the dual IS modes (mode 1 and Mode 2). This is not a deal breaker for me at this price point as the 18-135mm lens also does not have the 2 IS modes either. One of the concerns about the new lens was if it would hurt the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM pro lens. The “L” version adds the mode 2 satilization, better build quality and an optional tripod ring. It will probably be slightly better image quality (at nearly 3x the price I would expect slightly better image quality).

I am intrigued by the digital display. According to Canon you will be able to have it select the focal length of the lens, the focus distance or the amount of camera shake. When mounted on APS-C cameras it willl display the 35mm full-frame equivalent focal length instead of the actual focal length. As far as the amount of camera shake goes, I don’t think that will be very useful since your eye will be to the viewfinder when that data would be most useful.

I fully expected this lens to retail for around $699. This was based on the current lens selling for $649 when it was announced, and taking in to account the new features that would add to the cost. In fact I was wrong, the new Canon EF-70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM II lens will retail for only $549! I expect that this lens will find a home in my bag with my Canon EOS 6D (and possibly the new EOS M5 Mirrorless body with the EF lens adapter) when it becomes available on November 30, 2016.

Intro Video by Canon

Images of the new Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM II Lens (click to view larger)

Canon Announces New EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM II LensIMG_1387ef70_300_f4_56_is_ii_usm_mtf_wideef70_300_f4_56_is_ii_usm_mtf_tele

Price and Availability

Canon EF70-300 IS II USM* Lens $549.00

Expected Ship Date 11/30
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Press Release


Affordable Lens Features NANO USM Technology, Enhanced Image Stabilizer and Information Display

MELVILLE, N.Y., September 15, 2016 – Having the right tool for the job has long been the mantra for professional photographers and hobbyists alike. Canon’s wide array of lenses provide users with a variety of creative options to help capture dynamic photos and videos with their DSLR cameras. Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today the new Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM lens featuring NANO USM technology for high-speed and near-silent focusing in both still and video modes. The lens also features a new LCD information display and four-stop* image stabilization.

“To help photographers that are striving to create the most amazing pictures and videos possible, Canon is dedicated to developing the best tools to help them with their goal,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Having this new EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM lens in a photographer’s camera bag will surely help them achieve their creative vision.”

Designed with the user in mind, this affordable new lens includes technology to spark creativity and deliver excellent image and video quality from afar. This is the second Canon lens equipped with NANO USM technology, a focusing motor that combines the benefits of a ring USM (ultrasonic motor) for high-speed AF during still photo shooting and lead-screw type STM (stepping motor) for smooth and quiet video autofocusing (AF)

Features for the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 IS II USM lens include:

  • High-speed autofocus for shooting stills and smooth, near-silent autofocus when shooting video is achieved by incorporating NANO USM technology.
  • New Lens Information Display shows focusing distance, focal length and shake amount.
  • One UD Lens helps reduce chromatic aberration and delivers outstanding high resolution and high-contrast results.
  • Image Stabilizer effect at up-to-4* stops of shake correction helps capture sharp images.
  • Circular aperture (9 blades) helps deliver beautiful, soft backgrounds.
  • Full-time manual focus allows manual focus adjustment while in AF Mode.

The Canon EF 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6 IS II USM lens is scheduled to be available in November 2016, for an estimated retail price of $549.99**. For more information: http://www.usa.canon.com/

* Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards. Testing performed using the EOS-1D X digital SLR camera at a focal length of 300mm.

** Availability, specifications and price are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

Canon EF 70-300 F4-5.6 IS II USM

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size 35mm FF
Focal length 70–300mm
Image stabilization Yes (4 stops)
Lens mount Canon EF (Compatible with EF-S and EF-M with Adaptor)
Maximum aperture F4–5.6
Minimum aperture F32–45
Aperture ring No
Number of diaphragm blades 9
Elements 17
Groups 12
Special elements / coatings UD element
Minimum focus 1.20m (47.24in)
Maximum magnification 0.25×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Nano ultrasonic
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Rear
Focus notes Nano USM motor combines best of STM and ring-type USM
Distance scale Yes (LCD)
DoF scale No
Weight 710g (1.57lbs)
Diameter 80mm< (3.15in)
Length 146 mm (5.75in)
Weather Sealing No
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Zoom lock Yes
Filter thread 67mm
Lens Hood Included No
Tripod collar No
Notes Lens Information Display shows focusing distance, focal length and shake amount.

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